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Abortion and Public Opinion

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  1. Abortion and Public Opinion Kate Cosby, MPH University of California San Francisco

  2. SurveyMonkey.com Presents… Sociology of Abortion vs.

  3. In One Corner… • 70 years old • employs many of the world's leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology • 2000 professionals, 40 offices • 9 students • 30 respondents to survey (thank you!) • Experts on abortion Sociology of Abortion

  4. Respondents Closely Divided Gallup Special Report on Abortion. January 2002

  5. Respondents are not Sociology of Abortion

  6. on Pro-Choice • People who identify as “Pro-Choice” do not have unified attitudes about the legality of abortion • 50% say legal in all cases • 19% say in most cases • 27% say legal in only a few cases

  7. on Legal Abortion • Majority of Americans favor legal abortion …in certain circumstances

  8. Attitudes toward Abortion Sociology of Abortion vs.

  9. Sociology of Abortion vs. Perception of American Attitudes toward Abortion

  10. Support for Circumstances Sociology of Abortion

  11. Sociology of Abortion vs.

  12. Restrictions • Majority of Americans favor legal abortion …With some restrictions.

  13. On Restrictions Sociology of Abortion

  14. Sociology of Abortion vs.

  15. Respondents say:Abortion Matters! Sociology of Abortion

  16. Respondents say:Just One of Many Issues

  17. Subgroups • Religion Important • 59% of those who say “religion is important” are “pro-life” • Party Important • 64% of Democrats are “pro-choice” • 57% of Republicans are “pro-life”

  18. Abortion Attitudes Over Time… Strickler, J. and Danigelis, L. Changing Frameworks in Attitudes Toward Abortion. Sociological Forum, Vol. 17, No. 2, June 2002

  19. Why hasn’t approval of abortion increased? • Population more educated and secular • Women’s labor force participation rises • Increase in approval for out of wed-lock sex

  20. Background • Gender • Education • Race • Religion

  21. Methodology • Selected 15 General Social Surveys from National Opinion Research Center • Between 1977-1996 • Divide years into four periods of equal length • Dependent variable- Abortion approval (6 point scale) • Independent variables- Sociodemographic and attitudes toward other social issues

  22. Findings: Changes in Demographic & Attitudes • Increased urbanization • Increased education • Increased average age • Slight decrease in percent white • Slight increase in fundamentalist religious groups • Political liberalism steadfast

  23. Findings: Abortion Attitudes Stable • Aggregate abortion attitudes stable • Approval scale • 1977-1980- 4.1 • 1982-1985- 3.9 • 1987-1991- 3.9 • 1993-1996- 3.1

  24. Findings: Sociodemographic • Among African-Americans support increases, among Whites support decreases • Importance of Catholicism decreased (slightly)

  25. Findings: Attitudes • Strongest predictors: sanctity of life, religiosity, sexual liberalism

  26. Changes over time • Political liberalism increases its association with abortion approval • Conservative values toward sexuality and “sanctity of life” become more correlated with opposition to abortion • Feminism and religiosity weaken in their association with abortion attitudes

  27. Congratulations… First Section is Complete!

  28. Women’s Perceptions of Abortion Regulation and Attitudes toward Abortion Voices from the Heartland: Kate Cosby, MPH & Tracy Weitz, PhD University of California San Francisco

  29. Purpose • Stories • Knowledge • Opinions • Perceptions • Future Behavior

  30. Methods • Selected two states • Enrolled 3 clinical sites for recruitment • Used flyers and clinic staff to introduce study • Recruited 20 diverse women • 1 hour interviews

  31. Participant Characteristics • Age Range: 18-43, most in 20’s • Race/Ethnicity: 9 white/Caucasian, 7 African American, 3 Native American, 1 Latina • Education: 14 more than high school • Pregnancy History: 12 had children, 6 had previous abortions

  32. Analysis • Interviews Transcribed • Names changed • Grounded Theory Methods: • Line by line coding • Axial codes • Matrix Analysis

  33. Part One: Women’s Perceptions of Abortion Regulation

  34. Background • Roe v. Wade • Webster • Planned Parenthood v. Casey

  35. Background • Nearly every state has enacted laws placing restrictions on abortion. • Public opinion polls on abortion consistently suggest that such limitations are supported by the American public.

  36. Mandatory Counseling • 33 states require pre-abortion counseling • Potential Problems: • Misleading, biased or coercive information • Association with waiting period • Staff/Physician time • Redundant/Intrusive ¹Guttmacher Institute, 2008 ²Cohen, Gutmacher Policy Review, 2006

  37. Waiting Period • 24 states require a waiting period of 24 hours • Potential Problems: • Increased time/cost/inconvenience for women and providers for two separate appointments. ¹Guttmacher Institute, 2008 ²Althaus, 1994

  38. Parental Involvement • 35 states require some parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion. • Potential Problems: • Abortion is not confidential • Delay procedure for out-of-state travel or court approval • May seek illegal method or carry unwanted pregnancy to term if cannot obtain consent or travel means ¹Guttmacher Institute, 2008 ²Center for Reproductive Rights, 2001

  39. Medicaid/Insurance Restrictions • Private Insurance • Medicaid • Only 17 states use state funds to provide all or most medically necessary abortions. • Potential Problems: • Legal right to choose abortion not accessible to some women based on income. ¹Guttmacher Institute, 2008 ²Boonstra, Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, 2000

  40. State A • Waiting period • State-authored pamphlet including depictions of fetal development • One parent consent • Ultrasound • Medicaid prohibition

  41. State B • Waiting period • “Doc Talk” with state-authored material • One parent consent • Medicaid prohibition • Hospital prohibition • Insurance prohibition

  42. General Knowledge Can you tell me what you know about the history of abortion care in the United States? For example, for how long has abortion been legal? For how long do you think women have been getting abortions?

  43. General Knowledge of Abortion Lyndsay: • 18 yrs • White/Caucasian • 1 previous pregnancy- adoption • Planning to go to college

  44. General Knowledge of Regulation Lisa: • 23 yrs • White/Caucasian • 2 children, 1 previous abortion • In nursing school

  45. State Mandated Informed Consent and Mandatory Waiting Period • What was experience of following the regulation? • Why do they think it exists? • Who benefits?

  46. State Mandated Informed Consent Makayla • 27 yrs • African American • 2 children • In school

  47. State Mandated Informed Consent: “Looking at Pictures”

  48. State Mandated Informed Consent: “Looking at Pictures” Joy: • 26 yrs • White/Caucasian • 2 previous abortions • In school and working

  49. State Mandated Informed Consent: “Looking at Pictures” Makayla • 27 yrs • African American • 2 children • In school

  50. State Mandated Informed Consent:“Looking at Pictures” Cassie • 25 yrs • White/Caucasian • No previous pregnancies